Laidlaw Scholars Programme
About the Program
The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme, also known as the Laidlaw Scholars Programme, provides students with funding to pursue research in any area of interest at U of T, or anywhere in the world.
Students will be conducting their research in two summer sessions over two separate academic years (summer 2019 and 2020) and participating in a year-long leadership development program.
Overall, the program has three core elements:
- Research Project: Students propose a research topic with a research advisor who will supervise them. Students also have the opportunity to travel abroad if it suits their research project.
- Leadership development and training: Students will be provided with leadership training to develop their problem-solving and communication skills.
- Network building (for future opportunities): Students will have the opportunity to work with staff and faculty at their University or Universities across the world to grow their career networks during and after their time with the Laidlaw Programme.
Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay used his vision and commitment to create this program which began at the University of Leeds and is now offered at 12 universities around the world. The long-term vision for the Laidlaw Scholarship is to create a wide-reaching and diverse international network of leaders who will reinvest their skills, knowledge and experience to help students, peers and colleagues.
For more information about the history and vision of the program, please visit the main Laidlaw Scholars Website.
Up to twenty five academically strong, motivated students are selected annually for this program to receive a research stipend of up to $5,475 every summer or $10,950 (approximately) for the entire 12 week period of research undertaken over two summers.
Students are also eligible to apply for up to $3,500 in additional funds to cover travel costs (flight, visa, health insurance, etc.) and lab costs. This additional fund covers both summers for each student.
This program is open to first and second year undergraduate students from all backgrounds and fields of study. For the 2018-2019 year, the scholarship will only be available to St. George campus undergraduate students.
Applications to this program will be reviewed by an expert in the field of research chosen. Applicants will also be selected by their academic background and achievements. Additionally, applicants will be assessed for their passion, drive, enthusiasm and ambition.
Students who participate in the program will:
- Work alongside leading researchers to develop their academic potential
- Receive financial support over two consecutive summers, up to a value of $10,950
- Receive mentoring from a specialist supervisor
- Actively learn from participants and teams while managing projects
- Develop transferable skills pertaining to decision-making, planning and communicating
- Explore potential careers while building confidence and breadth of knowledge
- Gain access to a network of like-minded peers across the University and beyond
The leadership program will focus on the importance of leadership skills, understanding team work and applying it to day-to-day challenges. The networking component allows students to form connections with faculty and staff from around the world. This group of like-minded, highly motivated peers and teachers will allow students to expand their worldview and help them with future employability and skills.
The application form will be available on November 1, 2018 and students should begin working on it several weeks before the deadline of Monday January 14, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Applications are now closed.
How to submit your application:
1. Go to Laidlaw Scholarship Program application form.
2. Complete your basic application form. We recommend that students attend one of two information sessions regarding this scholarship program on November 13 or 28 at the CIE.
3. Submit the following application documents through the website, before the application due date:
Basic application form (student information, contact information)
Transcript Information (download/screenshot from ACORN and uploaded to the form)
Resume/CV (one page maximum)
Personal Statement (500 Words or less)
Research Advisor statement of support
Academic Letter of Recommendation
Note: Pay attention to the strict guidelines for each document (outlined below).
Academic Letter of Recommendation:
The academic letter of recommendation should cover the recommender’s relationship to the student and also the student’s academic ability. In addition, the faculty member should address the student’s ability/potential to be involved in self-motivated, independent research where they can exercise their leadership potential.
In 500 words maximum, discuss why you are interested in participating in the Laidlaw Scholars Programme and specifically address how it will help you improve your leadership skills. Also, speak to how your involvement in the program could help you with your future career aspirations. Be sure to also discuss the potential impact of your research.
The research proposal should include the following:
- Your research question
- A short description of the project and why the project is important
- Any interdisciplinary aspects of the initiative and/or any international dimensions of the project
- The key mentors or organizations involved
- The anticipated outcomes or impact
- A detailed budget describing how the funds will be used
This document can be used as a guideline/template for the budget proposal.
Research Advisor Statement of Support:
The applicant is responsible for contacting a professor of their choice, and asking them to serve as their research advisor for the program.
The research advisor should submit a one-page document confirming support for the student and their chosen research topic. In submitting this document, the advisor agrees to:
- Support the student’s research and serve as a guide for the feasibility of the project
- Support the lab/safety requirements of the project
- Determine that the student’s research interests align with the advisor’s own research projects/ideals
- Check in with the Program Coordinator at least twice over the course of the summer and provide updates on the scholar’s progress
- Ensure that the student achieves their research objectives through guidance and mentorship over the summer
November 1, 2018 - Application Available
November 13, 2018 - Information Session I (Location: Center for International Experience, Baldwin Room) - 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
November 28, 2018 - Information Session II (Location: Center for International Experience, Baldwin Room) - 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
January 14, 2019 - Application DUE by 5:00 p.m.
February 19, 2019 - Candidates notified of acceptance
February 26, 2019 - Welcome Event (Location: Center for International Experience, Cumberland Room)
March 4, 2019 to March 11, 2019 - Individual check-in meetings
March 12, 2019 - Leadership Session 1 (Location: Center for International Experience, Baldwin Room)
March 19, 2019 - Leadership Session 2 (Location: Center for International Experience, Baldwin Room)
March 28, 2019 or April 4, 2019 - Pre-Departure Briefing (Location: Center for International Experience, Baldwin Room)
Summer 2019 - Research Summer I
September 2019 to April 2020 - Leadership Program (schedule to be released soon)
Summer 2020 - Research Summer II